*Pre-editor post (forgive any typos)
I told you…Bet of the Year! You doubted my Oakland enthusiasm this time last week, and then I started to doubt it a bit later in the week…but cha-chinggg.
Oakland led this game 19-7 with 5 minutes left in the 3rd quarter and everything seemed well in-hand, but then the typical ‘get the lead, and then dial everything down to not lose’ coaching philosophy that is so rife in the NFL reared up and the Broncos came back and won this game last second.
Neither team looked particularly good in this game. Oakland is so limited but playing with a lot of enthusiasm still. Denver mailed this in and Case Keenum is getting worse and worse, but they somehow snuck out with a victory and a current 2-0 record that could very easily be 0-2.
One other game overview note…Bruce Arians as CBS analyst for games, I mean…these ex-coaches add exactly zero to any game you watch. You wonder why I pick on NFL coaches so much… Tell me one coach that went from sidelines to announce team and you were blown away by their words, insight, and preparation on the mic? It’s not even that…if they were just mediocre at this it would be something. Every one of them has zero insight. They do no real player preparation/study. They point out the obvious all game – they point out stars being stars and their main thing to say is: “I spoke to X (coach) and they said Y” or “They really like this kid.” Oh, it’s a nightmare…and I am subjected to it multiple times a day every week from September to December and beyond.
Ex-coaches...you’re getting paid a ton of money to do a job – how can you be so unprepared, dull, and uninformed about everything? I don’t think it’s lazy…I think it’s ‘talentless’. Non-visionary. They know how to get players lined-up for calisthenics and special teams, and they know how to scream obscenities at players when things aren’t going well…that’s about it. Any of us, had we chosen to give our life to it, could have been successful NFL head coaches. Rare are the guys that have the total package as coaches…like Sean McVay.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- Let’s talk Phillip Lindsay (14-107-0, 1-4-0/1), newest member of the NFL Hall of Fame through two weeks of his rookie season.
Why am I giddy that you must sell this penny stock ‘high’, right here, right now? I mean…this is two weeks in a row that he’s ‘the guy’. Why, Vance Joseph LOVES this kid! He’s the spark plug of the offense. Why would I sell him off now?
Let me change gears. Of all the things I’ve learned about fantasy football psychology over a decade of doing it as a ‘career’ is people are nuts/insane about their RB situation. A never-ending concern of hating your 2nd RB, worrying about your 1st RB, and really scared about your depth on your #3-4 RB on your fantasy roster. People put more worry about their fantasy RBs than all the other positions combined.
When is the last time you went through the available kicker list looking for any hidden gems?
Has all your fantasy RB worrying ever gotten you to dry land, to safe ground…to the RB Nirvana you desperately seek? I’ll answer for you – no, it never does. Actually, before the season begins you’re kinda hopeful with your group…then the season begins, and panic ensues.
Why can you never find your RB happy place?
Because it doesn’t exist.
It’s the nature of fantasy football at all levels of play. You think you’re gold with David Johnson…then a terrible offense kills him for two weeks, now you’re petrified going forward. Joe Mixon looking good? OK, good bye for 2-3 weeks with a knee thing. Ditto Devonta Freeman. Leonard Fournette is a strong RB…no, wait…another nagging injury. Pete Carroll loves Chris Carson…oh, wait the Seahawks suck and so does Carson. Marlon Mack’s going to get all the touches!!! ‘Pitch count’ debut. Jordan Howard is in an awesome situation…hey, wait he didn’t so squat on NATIONAL TV with no Bobby Wagner stopping him last week; now he sucks too.
Who do you want as your Nirvana backfield? Gurley-Gordon-Kamara (the top 3 PPR RBs in PPG right now)? You’re not getting all of them. You could have gotten one to start the year in redraft.
You know who’s #4 in PPR PPG…James Conner. You have him and you’re like…(biting fingernails) did I just hear Adam Schefter say Le’Veon might possibly maybe I’m not sure perhaps might be back in Week 3 or 4 or 5 or 6 or 7 or 8 or 9 or 10. Oh woe is me with the #4 PPR RB in fantasy right now. I gotta fix this.
Chris Thompson is the current #5 in PPR…YEAH, but that will never hold up. It’s all PPR. He’s not a real RB. (*Two years running as an RB1 in PPR…)
Saquon Barkley is #6…he’s the epitome of ‘PPR back’ right now. Ditto Christian McCaffrey at #7…CAM TAKES ALL THE TDs!!!
#8 Ezekiel Elliott…no 100+ yard games, what if the Dallas O-Line is cooked?
#9 Austin Ekeler…why aren’t you playing him if you love sleeper PPR backs so much? Why is Phillip Lindsay more exciting than Ekeler?
I could go on. No matter who I named, you’d find something to worry about.
If you start Conner-C.Thompson as your 1-2 punch this week, you’d have the current #4-5 in PPR among RBs scoring this season – and you’d hate it. They’re not sexy like Todd Gurley. Guess what…you ain’t getting Gurley. If you did, he’d rip his hamstring from his body the next week.
You’re never satisfied at RB because you can never be satisfied at RB in fantasy. Too many guys getting hurt. Too many game flow scenarios popping up for the Ekeler’s and Riddick’s (that you don’t trust). Plus, you worry way too much about things you cannot control. We’re two weeks in, and the difference from an RB1 and RB3 is what RB fell into the end zone and who didn’t. Jay Ajayi can kiss my ass, he sucks…the current #14 PPR RB YTD with a TD each game to save him, so can 2 TDs Javorius Allen the #15 PPR RB and his 5.0 catches a game. You wouldn’t be happy with Ajayi or Allen either. You’re never happy.
When you’re not happy, you try to solve your unhappiness like a full-time job. You do this by concocting all kinds of trade and waiver scenarios…bailing on guys who didn’t score a TD already, chasing guys who have – I dunno, maybe Jordan Howard will never score a TD this season and Javorius Allen will score 16…via their current pace.
Here’s my message to you as a Dad to his children, as a Messiah to his disciples – calm the hell down on your RB situation. You can’t fix it. Even if you do fix it…it will be broken in a week. Even if you do fix it you’ll find reasons why it’s really not fixed but is a ticking time bomb/massive issue.
How about you build a war machine at QB-WR-TE-DST-PK, all the things THEY undervalue in the universe and then just wing it as best you can at RB? Embrace the chaos at RB. You’re getting chaos whether you like it or not. If you have ONE GUY at RB you can trust, you’re golden because then we just keep playing RB roulette with RB2…and we can because there are always RBs to work with.
Where was I, oh yeah…Gale Sayers, I mean Phillip Lindsay…
Use your head. Is a 190-pound RB really going to be a 15+ carry guy, lead dog for the Broncos every week? What happens if he goes 4 carries for 10 yards and no TDs this week? His value evaporates…even if for short-sighted reasons.
Lindsay is not better than Royce Freeman, so at best this is a split. You think you got a PPR back worse case, you might…but so far, he has 3 catches. He had 1 target in this game where Denver was down a bunch. You need Vance Joseph to activate the PPR guy event…good luck.
In this game, Lindsay was working nicely, but you want to know why…my opinion after re-watching – when Oakland saw him enter, they changed their defensive front and played Denver to pass or weren’t worried about Lindsay, but joke was on them…Lindsay scrapped his way to a good game.
When Freeman entered the game, the entire front shifted for Oakland. At some point, teams will respect Lindsay and play him as a runner and he will be exposed. He’s a neat PPR back prospect…5-7 carries, 4-5+ targets. He’d be a sweet PPR back…so would Corey Grant, Dwayne Washington, Mike Davis, Jaylen Samuels and I could go on. It’s not whether he can – it’s will he? At this point, through two years of Vance Joseph, we’ve not seen this role utilized like Chris Thompson, James White, Alvin Kamara.
I’m not anti-Lindsay, I started crowing about him this summer…that he should be the PPR guy day one. I’m pro-Lindsay the NFL player. I’m pro-trade Lindsay in fantasy TODAY because he’s trading like an RB1.5-2.0 because ‘rookie’ and ‘mystique’ + the good results so far and you can use that to get into a guy like Chris Thompson, who has been a sustained PPR RB1, who the coach loves and uses accordingly. Lindsay isn’t used like Thompson in the pass game…not even close.
Lindsay has scrapped through a set of fortunate situations, and the bell will toll for him when he doesn’t. He’s going to be a nice RB2.5-3.0 in PPR this year, maybe…but he’s trading as an RB1.5-2.0. Trade the heat before this goes away…and it will go away fast. He’s not a bust…he’s just not this guy the rest of the season.
-- Lindsay should be a PPR back, you know why? It’s possible Royce Freeman (8-28-1, 0-0-0/1) cannot catch a football pass. Freeman looks great as a runner, because he is…but, again, Oakland knew that too when he came into the game.
Before you get too high on Freeman’s prospects, I have a concern he has serious PPR limitations. He’s not getting targeted and when he does, going back to the preseason, he looks like hands of stone. I don’t want to get Alfred Morris’d here in PPR.
Freeman’s not hit his real value yet. Let him take over the backfield then consider if you want to sell him off.
Treat these RBs like disposable diapers. Trade them like a day-trader in the stock market.
-- Before I re-watched this, I thought Courtland Sutton (1-9-0/6) just wasn’t ready…too much Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders to fight for targets.
After re-watching, I’m re-energized on Sutton. I think his time is about to come.
One catch for 9 yards in this game, really? Note a few things…
Had a nice 30+ yard catch down the sidelines, reversed as a bobble and out of bounds.
Had a sweet alley-oop 15+ yard TD catch but his toe hit out of bounds on the landing.
6 targets…two more than Emmanuel Sanders this game.
Demaryius Thomas 5 catches for just 18 yards…as he becomes more and more of a nothing.
Watching this back, I think Keenum knows where some gold is hidden and he’s trying to use it. Sutton’s upside for FF 2018 is capped via DT and Sanders existing, but not for long. I don’t know when, but the birth pangs are starting…with this game.
-- Hey, did you notice Jake Butt (4-48-0/5) in this game/box score? I didn’t. Looked right past him. Five targets in just 26 snaps. That may be a TE2 thing about to happen for the TE desperate.
-- Jordy Nelson (2-30-0/4) sure didn’t look like the Raiders #1 WR in this game. He didn’t do anything wrong it’s just that Amari got 10 targets and 10 catches for 116 yards, so now ‘he’s back’, right?
I think Denver was like – go ahead and try to beat us with little Amari timing throws. We can handle him. Oakland didn’t come out of the gates with Amari either. Jordy caught a 23-yard pass to start the game. I think Denver gave them Amari and they took it after the first two series. Teams will now adjust to Amari being somebody, after thinking he’s a nobody (because has been for a while now), and that will open up more Jordy.
Jordy should not be thrown in the trash so easily…but the Oakland passing game generally is underwhelming, so keep or drop, I’m good either way.
-- Oakland SAF Erik Harris (4 tackles) played 26 snaps, his first real work of 2018. He’s an IDP sleeper for sure. He’s like a linebacker playing safety – 6’2”/226, 4.57 40-time, 6.96 three-cone, 23 bench reps. He had some ton of bricks hits this game. He’s working his way to starter role, eventually, I think.
-- Oakland rookie IDP Arden Key (2 tackles, 1 TFL) looks like a hoax to me. Has the body. Good moves to get past blockers. Just doesn’t have the athleticism to finish. He’s always ‘around the action’ or ‘started to put pressure’ (but then the pass was thrown safely). I think Jon Gruden conned himself that Key was a great replacement in order to deal Khalil Mack, and he’s going to pay dearly for that.
Snap Counts of Interest:
59 = DThomas
54 = Sutton
54 = Sanders
28 = Lindsay
22 = Booker
16 = Freeman
41 = Heuerman
26 = Butt
42 = Lynch
16 = D Martin
08 = Richard
52 = Cook
11 = Carrier